Law and Order Candidate

donaldtrumpbigsmileAfter the shooting in Charlotte that happened recently, North Carolina has been the location of many speeches regarding the second amendment and law and order.  Recently, Donald Trump hosted a rally in Wilmington, North Carolina where he gave a speech about the second amendment, in which he used the phrase “restore law and order” three times in three sentences. Trump used short, persuasive messages to convince the people that he is the law and order candidate who will do what it takes to restore law and order to the country. Trump relied on using short sentences that would capture the attention of the audience. He used repetition to convey the idea that if he is elected into office, he truly will do what he says he will: restore law and order. He has effectively labeled himself the “law and order” candidate, but he has done little to explain what he will do if he is elected into office besides “restore law and order.”

In his speech, Trump began making statements about restoring order and how he will make changes with the police, but he failed to actually say what he would do. Trump could barely finish his thought when he said, “And the police are going to be careful and they’re going to be studied and they’re going to be — but we have to restore law and order.” Although he failed to back up his statements with evidence, Trump passionately declared that he would restore law and order to America. Trump said, “What happened in Dallas, where all of those people were shot down. Absolutely, absolutely for no reason. Viciously shot down, and so many others.” He tapped into the audience’s anxiety by referencing other shootings that have happened in America, and set himself up as the candidate for change. Rhetorically, Trump shaped his message and delivered it in a way that was exciting for the audience and made them feel that if he was elected, he really would do something to change the current state of America.

Speaker, Message, Audience?

On October 26, 2016, Donald Trump delivered a speech in Charlotte, North Carolina. Trump wisely chose to speak in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he and Clinton are in a tight race to win the state. After the shootings that recently occurred in Charlotte, Trump tailored his speech to fit an African American audience. Trump declared his “New Deal for Black America” where making communities safe would be his first priority. Trump proclaimed his desire to include African Americans in the “American Dream.” Without looking at the context of Trump’s speech, his message is powerful and would appear to attract many African American voters. Trump gives specific moves he will make in office and how he will work with the police to solve the crime rates in Chicago and Charlotte; however, the audience Trump delivers his speech to is not the audience he should be targeting.

Interestingly, the crowd of supporters Trump delivered his speech to was mainly white middle-aged men. The message of Trump’s speech was powerful and motivating, but he failed to deliver it to the audience he was targeting. Early in the primaries, Trump’s success came from delivering his message to an audience who would respond to it. Trump has failed to deliver messages to gain African American voters to an audience with African Americans present. Unfortunately, this is not Trump’s first time speaking to a white audience in an attempt to gain African American voters. In Des Moines, Iowa, Trump asked African American’s to vote for him, but the audience was filled with white men. Persuasive campaign rhetoric has a coherent speaker, message, and audience. In order to gain the African American votes he needs, Trump needs to deliver compelling messages to an audience with African Americans actually present to hear his speech.

Trump the Challenger

Florida is a battleground between Clinton and Trump in the presidential election. It is imperative that Trump win’s Florida to gain their 29 electoral votes. Trump’s second home is in Florida, so he has a slight home advantage over Clinton to win the state. Florida is crucial for Trump, so it is no coincidence that Trump scheduled not one, but two rallies on October 24th in Florida. Trump’s rally in Tampa attracted over 20,000 people who showed up to support him. As the challenger candidate, Trump uses the advocate for change rhetorical style by describing the changes he will create if he is put in office. Opening his speech, Trump appealed to his audience by listing reasons for them to elect him as president on November 8th. One of the first reasons he listed was that he would restore law and order to the country. Trump declared himself the advocate for change and accused Clinton of being “the defender of the corrupt status quo.” Rhetorically, Trump is appealing to the audience to elect him for the change he will incite in the country and the restoration of law and order.

Trump effectively blames the unrest in our country on Clinton and the Democratic party and asks the citizens of Florida to vote for him to bring rest and order back to America. Trump discussed the rising crime rates and blamed the rise of crime on the result of the Democratic control. As a change advocate, Trump is doing a good job of rhetorically appealing to minorities who desire change from the current government. At his rally in Tampa, Trump specifically reaches out to Hispanics, begging them to vote for him because, what have they got to lose? Trump is desperately appealing to voters to support him. I’m not sure begging will be beneficial for Trump, but he is really playing his cards right by calling for a change and restoring law and order in the country. Keep trying, Trump. The game is not over for you quite yet.

READ: Full Transcript of Donald Trump Speech in Tampa, Florida

Trump’s Balance Game

trump-and-policePresidential candidates tend to take a political stance or position in order to obtain more support from constituents than the opposition party. Law and order has been a topic that has been used by candidates to target minority populations. Presidential candidate, Donald Trump, has been forced into a balancing position regarding his stance on law and order. One of Trump’s largest endorsers is the police union. Therefore, when Trump has to address situations of violence, especially in regards to the recent shootings of African Americans, Trump has to be careful. If he pushes too far to one side, he risks stepping on toes of endorsers or voters. Unfortunately, one of Trump’s qualities is not delicacy. Trump tends to speak what is on his mind, and he has had a hard time obtaining the African American votes he needs, while supporting the police.

African American voters are looking for a candidate who will support them and the injustice they have dealt with. Trump cannot claim that he will support them fully if he is also supporting the police union. White, middle aged republican men want Trump to support the police department. African American voters that Trump needs, want Trump’s support of their endeavor for justice. Trump is stuck in the middle of two conflicting stances, and is being forced to carefully balance his position between the two sides. Therefore, Trumps speech in Milwaukee to an all white crowd where he claimed to restore law and order was a good effort on Trump’s part to keep his support from Republican voters. Unfortunately, those are not the votes Trump should be focusing on. Trump needs to use his language and rhetoric to take a stance that pleases both his endorsers and gains him votes from minority populations.

Try Again, Trump

usa-election-trumpThe question that opened the second presidential debate was, “Do you model behavior appropriate for today’s youth?” Trump creatively pivoted his answer to discuss law and order and his vision to make America great again. Trump expressed disdain for the current state of the country regarding the police department and law and order. Trump mentioned the recent shootings in Charlotte and Baltimore and the frequency of these events happening in our country. By mentioning the horrible shootings that have occurred recently, Trump was able to set the stage to make his slogan, “Make America great again” more persuasive. He demonstrated to his audience that America needs improvement, and that he can be the candidate to make it great again.

Trump’s response failed to give solid, legitimate plans he may have to make America great and to resolve the shootings that have recently occurred. Trump did his best to speak to minority voters whom he needs to garner support from. In his response, he mentioned fixing up inner cities for African Americans, Latinos, and Hispanics. He finished his statement by saying, “I look forward to doing it.” Trump was attempting to rhetorically demonstrate his presidential qualities and accentuate his character. He continues to use law and order as a way to garner supports from minority voters, but his stance is not strong enough to create the effect he desires. Trump’s plan for increasing law and order in America was vague, and held no constructive future steps he would take as a president. In order to gain the support Trump needs from minority voters, he needs to make a more effective argument instead of telling minorities he would like to fix up the inner city for them. His response needs to be polished before he uses it to gain support from the minority voters he needs.

Make America Safe Again

trumpOn September 21, 2016 Trump was invited by an African American pastor, Darrell Scott, to speak about the police shootings of African Americans in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Charlotte, North Carolina. In order to win the election, it is critical that Trump raises his support among the African American population. Therefore, Trump’s rhetorical response to the Darrell Scott’s question about the police shootings was a response that would gain support among the largely African American audience. Trump stated that he was “troubled” by the shootings. Trump attempted to form a response that would support police officers, yet resonate with his African American audience that he was empathetic and wanted to do something about the issue. Trump acknowledged that there were problems in police departments. Trump recognized that people who would “choke” on duty should not be in the police system. Trump needed to form a rhetorical argument that would show his African American audience that he was empathetic and would fix the issue, yet maintain support from his law enforcement endorsers. Trump needs to declare a stance on law and order that will increase his support, but he has failed to do so in an effective manner.

On September 21, 2016, Trump tweeted “Make America Safe Again” which was a smart rhetorical move to gain support from his African American audience. Trump’s rhetoric of law and order is an attempt to gain voter support from African American population. In Trump’s conversation with Pastor Darrell Scott and other pastors, his message for the audience is powerful and will resonate with them. Is that powerful enough for the rest of the population? Trump has been making serious attempts to increases his support, but unfortunately, this message of his will not have enough power to gain the support he needs.